Health Benefits of Okra
Written by: Brandi Monasco
Okra is a type of pod vegetable that is commonly eaten in the south. It is commonly added to gumbo, soups and creole and cajun cuisines. Many times, it is often eaten as a side dish to a meat entree.
No matter where or how okra is eaten, there are many health benefits that this vegetable produces for your body. It has a high content of different minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, B and C as well as iron, calcium and potassium. They also contain high levels of fiber that your body also needs.
- Okra Keeps Your Skin Healthy. The vitamin A that is found in okra helps to protect your skin and to keep it healthy. It helps promote faster healing and helps in reducing the appearance of acne and scars as well as the appearance of wrinkles. The antioxidants found in okra also help to neutralize free radicals that can cause damage to your skin.
- Okra Helps With Heart Health And Your Blood Pressure. Okra is loaded with different vitamins and minerals, one being potassium. Potassium is essential to your body because it helps to maintain proper fluid balance within your body, which also helps to balance your sodium levels, which could cause harmful effects to your heart. Potassium also helps to relax your blood vessels and arteries, causing your blood pressure to lower and reducing any strain on your cardiovascular system.
- Okra Helps Your Immune System. The many antioxidants found in okra helps your body to fight off free radicals that can cause severe damage to your body. Okra is also high in vitamin C which can help to stimulate your immune system and give it the boost that it needs. When your immune system is stimulated, your body produces more white blood cells, which help to fight off bacteria and infections within your body.
Not sure how to cook okra? Here’s a yummy okra recipe!
- Fresh or frozen okra
- ½ to 1 diced onion (adjust this according to the amount of okra)
- Salt, pepper and garlic to taste
- 2 tsp of olive oil
- Wash the okra and pat dry. Leave it on the counter for an hour or so (this keeps the slime down).
- Slice the okra into ⅛ inch rounds, cutting the stem and end point off.
- Heat the pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.
- Toss in the okra and onion, making sure to coat the okra with olive oil.
- Cover and let cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and sauté until the okra is lightly browned.
Do you have experience with okra? What’s your favorite way to eat it? Please share your thoughts and recipes with us in the comments below!
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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